The Tùsail is the latest Glenmorangie to be released, in fact it’s the 6th release from Glenmorangie’s Private Edition range. Tùsail stands for “originary” in Gaelic, and this time Glenmorangie chose an unusual strain of Barley called “Maris Otter” which was floor-malted by hand using traditional techniques.
Maris Otter is a rich winter variety of barley first introduced in 1965. It was bred specifically to meet the demand for a high quality brewing malt and recognized for its ability to impart rich, rustic malty flavors. It was popular only for a short time until different strains of Barley were developed, with a better yield, and Maris otter was replaced by Optic and Golden promise, which are the main barley strains used today by most distillers. Some beer brewers (Adnams for example) still use Maris Otter barley for their ales and beers, but It’s rare to see any distillery using MO today. As a whisky geek it is highly interesting to see how this whisky feels like with this unusual Barley variety, and I am sure you’re curious as well, so let’s try it.
Nose: sweet and fruity with bubble gum, vanilla ,butterscotch, some biscuits, malt and coconut cereal bars sprinkled with cinnamon. There also spicy wood and hints of ginger.
Palate: starts spicy with sweet notes of cinnamon and coconut shreds , banana and cereal with a touch of lemon zest. As it develops it gets sweeter maltier and fruitier. With toasted wood. Earthy notes as well as brazil nuts and vanilla custard. The sweet bubblegum is also noticeable.
Finish: medium to short with vanilla, and nut ice cream and some banana bread.
I quite liked the Tusail, but you have to bear in mind It’s not a ground breaking dram.It’s very malty, biscuit-y and fruity which is a always welcome at least IMHO. It’s not ground breaking or something, and It does not stand out from the whisky crowd. I do feel almost 80 quid for this sort of whisky is not the greatest VFM, and you can do much better at this price level. I’d recommend this mostly for malt geeks who want to try a whisky made of Maris Otter malt, and Glenmorangie die hard fans, who “must” have all releases on their shelf. Good stuff, but not great, certainly better than the “Dornoch” I reviewed lately, but still I expect more from a private edition release.